National Poetry Writing Month 2020, Day 19

The napowrimo.net prompt for day 19 is to ‘write a poem based on a “walking archive.” What’s that? Well, it’s when you go on a walk and gather up interesting thing – a flower, a strange piece of bark, a rock. This then becomes your “walking archive” – the physical instantiation of your walk. If you’re unable to get out of the house (as many of us now are), you can create a “walking archive” by wandering around your own home and gathering knick-knacks, family photos, maybe a strange spice or kitchen gadget you never use. One you’ve finished your gathering, lay all your materials out on  a tray table, like museum specimens. Now, let your group of materials inspire your poem!’. Meh. Close enough.

These chests of cardboard and kindling
barely fit in the back of the car
with everything else

I made my pass through one room after the other
gathering up as much as I could
along the way

The boxes and old packages received in the post
then jettisoned once their contents were free
are too wounded to escape

They are no match for me
so into the car they go

The screws from the torn-apart drawers
reside now in the utility drawer
with stray nails and assorted phillips screwdrivers

The cardboard and kindling
along with tattered blankets and bubble wrap
cushion various debris and an old Timex display case
at the bottom of a shipping container
in a lot just off Slater

Closet space awaits me
at home

(18 April 2020—posted April 19)


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